Plans for a fanfare Lake District homecoming for the legendary hydroplane Bluebird K7 have been abandoned.
Organisers in the village of Coniston, Cumbria, say they have pulled out of the event “due to unforeseen circumstances”.
The news will frustrate fans around the world who regard the hydroplane as an icon of British engineering. Bluebird is regarded as a historic symbol for water speed enthusiasts, having set seven speed records.
She crashed on Coniston Water in 1967, killing pilot Donald Campbell.
After sinking to the bed of the lake, the wreckage was brought to the surface 34 years later.
Thousands of supporters followed her progress as she was rebuilt by a team of volunteer engineers and finally relaunched on the Isle of Bute in Scotland last year, reaching speeds of around 150mph more than 50 years after the Coniston crash.
Large crowds were expected to visit Coniston in July this year to see the jet-powered craft return to her “spiritual home”.
A working party set up to organise the event even announced dates for the event.
But it is known that the group have not always seen eye-to-eye with the Tyneside-based Bluebird Project which spent 17 years restoring the hydroplane to her former glory.
The Bluebird Project said it had “no idea” what the unforeseen circumstances are and several attempts to contact organisers “met with no response whatsoever” on Wednesday.
It said it was “regrettable” that the planned and long-awaited return to Coniston Water will not happen in 2019.
A statement on the Lake District National Park website says: “We are disappointed to hear the Bluebird Event Group will not be bringing Bluebird K7 back to Coniston Water this summer.
“However we remain committed to supporting the return of Bluebird at some point in the future.”
(c) Sky News 2019: Bluebird hydroplane homecoming postponed due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’